Multiple Torbay Hospital NHS breaches investigated

Torbay Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption The hospital trust said changes including measures to avoid overnight stays were "achieving progress"

Torbay Hospital is under scrutiny by health regulator Monitor for multiple breaches of NHS targets.

Last financial year the hospital failed to hit the target of seeing 95% of A&E patients within four hours in every month apart from October.

It also failed in every month to meet the 18-week target for treating patients referred by GPs.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust said it was facing "unprecedented high levels of demand for services".

The health regulator said on its website: "Monitor is requesting further information following multiple breaches of the A&E and referral to treatment (admitted) targets, before deciding next steps."

If problems persist Monitor has the power to put the hospital into special measures and order changes.

'Most challenging year'

"We are at an informal evidence-gathering stage and it is not likely to automatically lead to further action," said a spokeswoman.

"We are supporting and advising them to avoid it going any further."

A report to the trust's last board meeting, earlier this month, said failure to hit the A&E waiting time targets reflected "the demand pressures facing the trust".

Liz Davenport, the trust's chief operating officer, said: "Like many other trusts, the past 12 months have been our most challenging."

She said changes including measures to avoid overnight stays were "achieving progress".

"In April 2015, 93.9% of patients attending ED [the emergency department] were seen within the four-hour target - this is a significant improvement from our overall position last quarter of 84.9%," she said.

"We are closely monitoring our performance in these areas to ensure that we continue to improve patients' experience and deliver quality care."

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